With sweater-weather just around the corner and seasonal squashes filling the shelves of local farmers markets, I'm giving myself permission to lean in and make a few of those seasonal favorites. That's right, those recipes that I make that one time of year — which, in this case, are as comfortable and as familiar as your favorite fall blankets and décor.
This recipe, for maple-roasted delicata squash with bacon, was shared with me by two of my coworkers a few years ago after my CSA had loaded me up with a squash I had never heard of before. (In my defense, I was not a fan of winter squash as a child and had been avoiding it most of my adult life.)
Because cleaning and prepping a delicata is so easy, this recipe became a favorite of mine. But, you don't even have to use the maple and bacon to make a delicious delicata treat for yourself. You can literally just cut up the delicata, drizzle it with oil and sprinkle on some salt and pepper and throw it in the oven. You can kick it up a notch (sans maple and bacon) by adding 1 tablespoon harissa paste and 1 tablespoon honey to the 2 tablespoons of olive oil already in this recipe for a honey harissa-roasted delicata squash.
MAPLE-ROASTED DELICATA SQUASH WITH BACON
(Recipe courtesy of thekitchn.com)
2 medium delicata squash
2 slices thick-cut bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425 F.
Trim 2 medium delicata squash: Cut each in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and pulp. Slice into 1/4-inch-thick half moons and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Cut 2 slices thick-cut bacon into 1/2-inch pieces and add to the baking sheet. (Kitchen scissors work best for cutting up the bacon into pieces quickly.)
Drizzle the squash and bacon with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Spread in an even layer.
Roast, flipping halfway through, until the squash is tender and caramelized and the bacon is crisp, about 25 minutes total. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley leaves, if desired.